Archives for December 2013

New Year’s Resolutions

I’m baaaack! I hope everyone had a great holiday! I decided I needed to unplug for a bit, which is why I haven’t posted in over a week. Now, since all of the holiday craziness is over, it’s time to get back to normal.  I’ll start off with a little photo dump of my holiday.  I unplugged so much that I neglected to take the usual amount of pictures but luckily my mom was busy trying out her new camera so I was able to steal a few. 🙂

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photo (1)(the result of Cookie Extravaganza #1 and #2…and that’s only about 1/4 of it.)

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IMG_20131225_174525How my dad’s side of the family does holidays.  A drink contest, what else?!  Clearly, competitiveness runs in the family.

1556350_10201365081870030_1924513196_oOne of the smartest and most generous men I know.  Love spending time with my grandparents when I can.

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With New Year’s Eve on the horizon, I started thinking about resolutions.  Each year, I have every intention of making at least one New Year’s resolution but it never really pans out. I decided this year, I would take a stab at it with a few goals, both practical and personal. I kept it short and sweet. Quality over quantity!

NYE

1. Get ACSM certified. I’ve been saying for months that I want to become a certified personal trainer, but procrastination should be my middle name. I finally ripped off the band-aid, bought the study materials and cracked open the books this weekend. My goal is to be certified by March at the latest, and then I’m looking forward to starting out with bootcamps for family and friends and building my client base from there.

2. Continue healthy eating. Sure, 2014 will have it’s fair share of pizza, french fries and chocolate, but I want to challenge myself to try even more new healthy recipes and really focus on eating clean as much as I can. I don’t eat too much processed food but I think I can make more of an effort to replace more of it with whole “real” foods.

3. Improve decision making skills. This is a big one for me. Anyone who knows me knows that decision making is NOT one of my strong suits. And that’s an understatement. I need to work on making more decisions on my own (and not dwelling on them!) and not always worry about what other people’s opinions are, or all of the “what ifs”. Sure, big life decisions can use a good pro/con list or advice from my family but I don’t have to consult my mom every time I’m deciding on which necklace matches my outfit the best. 😉

4. Be more present. I’m the type of person who is always “in my own head” and constantly thinking about my plan for the next day, week, month, etc. While this is perfectly normal for someone with a type A personality like me, I’m realizing more and more that I need to try to stop and, for lack of better words, smell the roses a bit more. It seems like every year goes by faster than the next and life is too short to sweat the small stuff. I need to cherish the time I have with my husband, family and friends and be grateful for each and every day.

And now that I’ve said them out loud, I guess there’s no excuse not to follow through!  I’ll expect each and every one of you to hold me accountable. 😉

I am looking forward to a fantastic 2014!

Happy New Year!

Friday Favorites: Workout Edition

Hey there!  Today I’m linking up with Heather over at Housewife Glamour for another edition of Friday Favorites, but this time it’s the Workout Edition!  I decided I would share some of my favorite workouts that I’ve posted over the past 6 months or so.  After all of the cookies I’ve been posting about (and eating) lately…seriously, so many cookies… it’s probably time that I give you a few ways to burn them off! 🙂

Housewife Glamour

1. Cardio Ladder WorkoutA good way to keep your heart rate up, without a treadmill.

Cardio Ladder2. Full Body Dumbbell Workout

Full Body Dumbbell Circuit Workout3. Running/Strength Workout

Run4. Fab 5050 reps aren’t that much fun, but you only do it once for each exercise!

Fab 50 Workout

5. Burpee Bonanza! For real, so many burpees…

Burpee Ladder Workout6. 15 Minute Ab WorkoutI’ll usually add this to a cardio day.

15 Minute Abs7. Full Body Gym Workout

Full Body Workout8. Tabata- Upper Body/Core

Upper Body Tabata Workout9. Cardio RemixChanging up that cardio again!

Cardio Remix10. Legs/Lower Body WorkoutWho doesn’t want Carrie Underwood’s legs?!

Gorgeous Gams

 

Have a great weekend!

Weekend Recap & Cookie Overload

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our house!

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Christmas DecorMatt and have have started collecting ornaments from some of the places we have visited or that are meaningful.  Decorating the tree brings back all of the fun memories. 🙂

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(Yes, that’s a Rams Cheerleader in a veil, thanks to my amazing teammates!) 🙂

Remember how I said I was looking forward to a girls’ trip to KC for the weekend?  Welp, Mother Nature had other plans for us and it looked a little something like this:

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DSC01560We debated attempting to make the trek a little later in the morning but decided Kappa Christmas would have to be rescheduled after the holidays. Dang snow. 🙁

Onto Plan B: Cookie Extravaganza Round 2.  As luck would have it, I stayed at my parents’ house Friday night and obviously wasn’t going to drive anywhere in 8 inches of snow, so cookies it was!

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photo(We have a lot of dogs in my extended family.  These are “people cookies” but we don’t like to leave the dogs out. :))

DSC01566This year, we tried something new with these Pumpkin Gingerbread Snowballs and paleo-approved Chocolate Coconut Squares.

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Are you on sweets overload yet? No? Me neither.  Now for the recipe for two of my favorites!

Reeses-Oreo Cookies

Oreo Cake Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg Oreos (crushed)
  • 8 oz light cream cheese
  • melted semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Crush Oreos (I usually put them all in a ziploc bag and crush with my hands or a rolling pin). Pour crumbs into a bowl with the cream cheese and mix together.  Shape the dough into balls and let cool until they harden enough they don’t fall apart.  Dip in melted chocolate, sprinkle on your favorite toppings and let dry on foil or parchment paper.

Ritz Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • Ritz crackers
  • peanut butter
  • melted semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Place a small scoop of peanut butter in between two Ritz crackers.  Dip in melted chocolate, sprinkle on your favorite toppings and let dry on foil or parchment paper.  Yes, it’s that easy!

Now, I leave you in a chocolate coma.  You’re welcome. 🙂

Stairmaster Interval Workout

Last night, Matt and I finally went and picked out our Christmas tree (I insist on getting a real one every year) and I have big Friday night plans that include decorating that sucker.  I’ll be sure to share pics when my masterpiece is finished. 😉  Other than that, I’m getting ready for a quick mini road trip with some of my college girlfriends to Kansas City for our annual “Kappa Christmas”.  We use the holidays as an excuse to get together, catch up, eat and of course, drink wine.  I’m looking forward to quality time with friends!

I wanted to pop in and give you all another non-treadmill cardio workout, in case you wanted to switch things up a little this weekend.  You wouldn’t think that 20 minutes of cardio would be much but I promise you, your legs will be burning by the end…heck, probably halfway through.  Feel free to adjust the speeds to meet your needs but the key here is intervals.  Slow down and speed up periodically…you’ll burn more fat and will get more out of your 20 minutes!

Stairmaster Intervals

Have you tried interval training?  Did you like it?

Christmas tree- Real or Fake?

Have a great weekend!

WIAW #9: New Protein Bars & Easy Side Dish

I’m linking up with Jenn again for What I Ate Wednesday and posting my eats from yesterday!

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My day consisted of mostly the same old same old but with a couple newbies that I had to pass along.

Breakfast

Sweet breakfast scramble.

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Snack

Apple and peanut butter, duh!

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Lunch

You may have seen this on Instagram the other night, but I posted this to show how easy it can be to make a delicious side dish.  I melted coconut oil in a pan, then added a veggie mix from Trader Joe’s (already chopped!) and their 21 Seasoning Salute, which you have to try!  It was super easy and really tasty.  I paired it with roasted chicken and repeated that meal for lunch yesterday.  My mom gave me the idea to put a whole chicken in the crock-pot for 6hrs on low on Sunday, then we would have roasted chicken for almost the entire week.  It’s been really nice to not have to worry about cooking meat every night!

20131209181514686 (1)Snack:

A new recipe for Pumpkin-Coconut Protein Bars that I found here.  I think I may have found my new favorite recipe and bonus for them being grain-free!  Sorry, I neglected to take pictures but I think you get the idea. 🙂 I made a couple of small changes to the original recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 4 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-2 tsp stevia
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients together.  Mix wet ingredients together then whisk into dry ingredients.  Pour into a greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Dinner:

Nothing special to report….fish and veggies. Sorry, I was really bad at taking pictures yesterday!

Have a great day!

Cookie Extravaganza: Recipe #1

As I mentioned last week, I had an eventful Saturday planned- cookie baking with my mom and watching Mizzou play in the SEC Championship.  Although Mizzou didn’t win 🙁 I’m still so proud that we made it to the championship at all, after only 2 years in the conference.  We’ll get ’em next year, Tigers!

DSC01554For as long as I can remember, my mom has always made what seems like a million different kinds of cookies for Christmas.  Since my sister and I have since left the “nest”, we have made it what is now one of my favorite holiday traditions and spend a day or two baking cookies together, listening to Christmas music and chatting away.  Girl time + chocolate = perfection. 🙂

DSC01547For round 1 of the cookie baking extravaganza, we made chocolate dipped pretzels, chocolate dipped Oreo balls, chocolate dipped “Reese’s” cookies, cut out sugar cookies and Magic Bars….and that’s only the beginning.  I will share the Oreo and Reese’s cookies soon, but today I wanted to give you the recipe for Magic Bars.  This recipe came from my great-grandmother and are are quite possibly my favorite out of everything we make. (I mean, if I absolutely HAVE to choose.)  If it isn’t obvious, I’ll be candid in saying these are not, in any way shape or form, healthy.  If you are going to treat yourself though, these are worth every calorie in my opinion. 😉  We did end up using organic condensed milk…so I think that justifies having two?

Magic BarsIngredients:

  • 3 cups (approx.) graham crackers, crushed
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups coconut
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk

Directions:

Crush graham crackers and mix with melted butter and sugar.  Spread in the bottom of a greased 9×13 cake pan and pack it down with a fork.  Mix chocolate chips, pecans and coconut together and pour over the graham crackers.  Pour the condensed milk evenly over the pan.  Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until the milk starts to bubble and the edges start to turn brown.  Cut bars into desired size and enjoy every last morsel!

Stay tuned for more cookie recipes!

Have great week!